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  • January 11, 2019

    Scandinavian video

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    The Scandinavian markets sit at the cutting edge of the TV industry’s evolution—a product of tech-savvy citizens, superb connectivity, and generally high incomes. Take-up of SVOD is high, yet while this has had a pronounced effect on viewing, pay-TV subscription numbers have proved surprisingly resilient. Traditionally dominant public service broadcasters are under greater financial and political pressures, with the licence fee scrapped in both Denmark and Sweden.      
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  • December 11, 2018

    Hulu casts a spell

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    When its acquisition of 21st Century Fox closes, Disney will own 60% of Hulu. If it bought Comcast’s 30% stake (and WarnerMedia’s 10%), it could fully leverage the platform for its US direct-to-consumer strategy. Comcast’s Hulu stake has little strategic value to it. We argue it should sell to Disney in exchange for long-term supply deals for ESPN, as well as for the upcoming Disney+ and Hulu, similar to its recent pacts with Amazon Prime and Netflix. This could naturally be extended to Sky in Europe depending on whether Disney decides to launch all direct-to-consumer or sticks with pay-TV in certain markets.
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  • December 4, 2018

    SVOD in the US and UK: A tale of three-player markets

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    There is a belief in some quarters that there is space for a myriad of large SVOD services in the UK. Like the UK, the US market is dominated by three services, but there is also evidence that there is appetite for further offerings: Netflix households tend to take a secondary SVOD service to complement Netflix’s content library, and are likely to take up a third service, and in some cases a fourth and fifth. Potential domestic UK services will struggle to compete with the resources that foreign tech giants can marshal, along with NOW TV’s steady position and top content.  
  • November 13, 2018

    BBC drama: a loosening grip

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    A string of big, bold hits like Bodyguard, Killing Eve and Little Drummer Girl has reinvigorated the perception of the BBC’s drama schedule, with massive ratings and a coveted place in the public conversation. However, the lack of the broadcaster’s top dramas actually produced by BBC Studios—declining to just 4 of the top 25 in 2018—is cause for ongoing concern. At a time when the BBC is attempting to bulk up the iPlayer and programme IP has become the bedrock broadcasting asset, the BBC could be better placed.
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  • October 26, 2018

    Video Entertainment Market Outlook: The overall Video Entertainme [...]

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    We anticipate the Australian video market to marginally decline from A$5.48bn in 2018 to A$5.33bn in 2023 driven by a deflationary shift from traditional to digital platforms. While we don’t expect the overall size of the video entertainment market to decline materially, we do expect platform share to change dramatically over the next five years. Pay-TV will remain under pressure as the way video is consumed and paid for changes. Foxtel will offset some of this pressure by its participation in the xVOD market albeit this market will be heavily contested with multiple new players emerging.
  • October 16, 2018

    Future Trends In Telecom and Video: Comms Day Melbourne Congress

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    On 10th October 2018, Venture Insight’s Managing Director Nigel Pugh, presented Venture’s recent Australian Mobile Survey results at the Comms Day Congress in Melbourne. The presentation includes Venture’s survey results and views on (i) consumer 5G awareness, migration and the battle for the early adopter market segment, (ii) consumer usage of mobile video and streaming services, (iii) 5G use case for mobile and telco media bundling, (iv) 5G use case for fixed wireless and (v) messaging usage versus traditional applications.
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  • September 26, 2018

    Telcos and the battle for HDMI 1 – bringing everything under on [...]

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    The rise of SVOD platforms has driven a significant change in TV viewing habits with viewers having an unprecedented choice of content. The result is a fragmented video market which has made it increasingly complex for users to manage the various sources of content that are available.  
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  • September 4, 2018

    When an Amazon TV show wins a Golden Globe, Amazon sells more sho [...]

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    Over the past two decades, Amazon has grown to become the largest ecommerce player in the world. But to think of it as just an online retailer would be underestimating its presence across multiple other services and markets. Within this, Amazon Video is fast emerging as a key pillar of Amazon’s overall business as it uses video to increase Prime memberships and improve user stickiness on the Amazon platform.

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  • June 28, 2018

    The home screen: distribution, discovery and data on connected TV [...]

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    The TV, the main screen in the house, is rapidly becoming connected to the internet, opening a new front in the battle for people's attention. Tech players, pay-TV operators, and manufacturers are all aiming to control the user interface, ad delivery and data collection, leaving incumbent broadcaster interests less well represented. To protect their position, and the principles of public service broadcasting, broadcasters will have to work with each other at home and in Europe to leverage their content and social importance.  
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  • February 13, 2018

    Premier League auction: not ripe for GAFAN disruption

    The overall scale of the GAFAN digital media giants may be huge, but the cost of becoming a major player in Premier League (PL) football remains utterly disproportionate to the current scale and ambitions of their video businesses in the UK. Furthermore, the main package PL rights are live-only, UK-only, and of limited breadth of appeal, making a poor strategic fit for any of the digital players. The cheaper minor packages, near-live and clips rights may be a better fit, but bidding on these will not move the needle in terms of the ÂŁ1.7 billion per year main PL auction rights costs.
  • TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    December 12, 2017

    Children’s changing video habits:And implications for the conte [...]

    Children’s media use and attitudes have dramatically changed over the last few years, stemming from the rapid take-up of smartphones and tablets. Traditional TV continues to decline at the expense of newer video services such as YouTube, Netflix and Amazon, with 43% of children aged 8-15 preferring YouTube videos over TV programmes.These online services offer content producers wider opportunities, but questions remain around the lack of regulation online, and the recent scandal around children’s safety on YouTube has heightened these concerns.
  • Mounting risks to marketing effectiveness
    Mounting risks to marketing effectiveness
    October 20, 2017

    US ISPs hail the end of online privacy rules

    The Federal Communications Commission’s Privacy Order (FCC) was overturned by the Senate, clearing the way for ISPs to ramp up consumer data-driven advertising revenue. While Google and Facebook dominate digital advertising in the US as in other markets, the US is alone in removing regulatory barriers to ISPs taking a piece of the pie. US ISPs now have a self-regulatory regime for consumer rights on transparency, security and data breaches; but in the UK and EU, privacy advocates prefer enforceable rights
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    September 25, 2017

    Netflix’s edge over broadcasters

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    The development and utilisation of streaming technologies has allowed major SVODs, such as Netflix and Amazon, to attain a growing proportion of video viewing. However, tech is just one of the advantages held by these services: plateauing content expenditure, the inability to retain IP and inconsistent regulatory regimes hamper the efforts of the UK’s public service broadcasters. The localised nature of audience tastes, as well as the diversity of PSB offerings remain a bulwark to aid in the retention of relevance but content spend cannot lag
  • TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    July 26, 2017

    European subscription and pay-TV monitor

    Across Europe, markets are becoming more competitive. Incumbent pay-TV paltforms (e.g. Sky or Canal+) face increasing threats from both internet-based services (e.g. Netflix and Amazon), and telecoms operators.Telecoms providers are proving the most potent challengers as they enter the premium football rights market to create attractive triple and quad play bundles – examples include BT, SFR and Telefónica. The latter is now the main pay-TV operator in Spain whereas France’s Canal+ has entered into a strategic alliance with Orange. Across the top five markets (UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), Sky remains the leading operator with an estimated 21.5m video subscribers, twice as many as Netflix
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    July 26, 2017

    Netflix passes 100 million: buy more steak, get less sizzle?

    After a quarter coloured by big, returning series Netflix now has just shy of 104 million subscribers worldwide, with, for the first time, the majority living outside the US. Content expenditure continues to dazzle with $4.2 billion spent in the first half of 2017. Negative free cash flow looks set to hit $2.5 billion for the year, with large upfront payments for self-produced and commissioned content coupling with rights acquisition expenditure to create a library of programmes that necessitates continual subscriber growth. Current international growth is small considering the magnitude of the opportunity, revealing the difficulty of creating sizeable customer bases outside of the West, where competitors are cheaper, US programming less desirable and internet access comparatively limited
  • European scripted content - Rising demand and consolidation
    European scripted content - Rising demand and consolidation
    July 11, 2017

    European scripted content

    The US scripted content boom is spilling over into Europe: Free-to-air TV drama ratings have proven resilient but as costs and audience expectations have risen budgets are under pressure, necessitating flexible co-financing arrangements with American broadcasters, and Netflix and Amazon. Pay channels have boosted output—with uneven results. Long-term IP control is a key factor behind independent production consolidation, led by broadcasters seeking a secure stream of content and diversification away from advertising. Notable developments include the new wave of Berlin-based, internationally-financed series, the rise of domestic French content and Sky Italia’s edgy originals, Telefónica’s giant leap into Spanish dramas, and the continuation of Britain as an export powerhouse.

  • May 25, 2017

    Amazon Channels: bite-sized pay-TV for the whole family

    After a US debut, Amazon’s marketplace of SVOD services arrives in the UK and Germany, but without the major draws of HBO and Showtime. Unbundling SVOD for premium content strengthens Amazon’s position in the fast-developing connected TV landscape, where Prime Video is taking on Netflix, NOW TV and YouTube. For niche content providers, Amazon Channels provides a new, low-friction route to go direct-to-consumer with a mix of live and on-demand premium content alongside existing distribution strategies.

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    February 6, 2017

    Enterprise cloud on the horizon

    Enterprise cloud computing democratises access to IT capacity ranging from specialised software to platforms to infrastructure, transforming cost structures in sectors like media and retail. Cloud enables unprecedented scalability of bandwidth for digital media services like PokÊmon Go and Netflix, while also hosting the back-end for advertisers and retailers. As the industry consolidates quickly, intense competition among Amazon, Microsoft and Google is delivering value to customers and boosting adoption.

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    January 27, 2017

    Netflix at 10: still growing, still spending

    Netflix celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its streaming service by posting its largest quarterly rate of subscriber growth, adding just over 7m new subscribers in Q4 2016, smashing its own forecast for the period of 5.2m.

    5.12m of the new subscribers were for its international services, attributed to acceptance of its growing suite of English language original programs. But growth is just as likely related to the bolstering of overseas offerings with acquired programming, after launching worldwide with relatively small libraries.

    While re-establishing confidence after a period of doubt when missing targets in Q2, challenges await; most notably concerns around net neutrality, diversifying content genres, and the open question as to how effectively original programming will be able to carry the service.

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    December 20, 2016

    Amazon ready for global Prime time

    Amazon Prime Video has recently launched in over 200 countries, including Australia and New Zealand. We discuss the impact of this launch to the subscription Video-on-Demand market within Australia, and consider the ongoing impact into the future, including the rise of Amazon retail services within Australia.
  • November 30, 2016

    The future of free-to-air television Part 2: Profiting from New F [...]

    The provision and consumption of on-demand video is exploding. FTA broadcasters must adapt to these new media and audience behaviour trends. They are well placed to exploit the significant opportunities that exists in redefined ‘TV’ and adjacent markets but the price of failure will be irrelevance and decline.
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    November 17, 2016

    The studio model: stay tuned!

    US entertainment groups have not been disrupted by the rise of digital media. Long running franchises drive growth across diverse sectors, starting with pay-TV and SVOD. US television advertising is rising in line with GDP, while the online video ad market is flourishing, with much appearing alongside the majors’ scripted content. Studios’ cable channels are their most profitable assets, but M&As with distribution platforms, including Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal, have usually failed to deliver synergies. The Donald Trump presidency could leverage hostile public opinion towards mergers to undermine the AT&T bid for Time Warner; but it could also stimulate M&As if it granted tech companies a tax break to repatriate profits. A more protectionist administration could also bring about a less benevolent attitude towards majors’ foreign operations.

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    October 6, 2016

    Canal+ in audacious model revamp

    With the decline in its subscriber base accelerating and following an antitrust veto over its planned tie up with BeIN Sports, Canal+ has decided to radically restructure its retailing on IPTV – where over 60% of subscriber recruitment takes place.The basic channel package is now wholesale to ISPs and included in upper tier triple play bundles – much higher volumes should more than balance a deep price cut. Soon premium and optional packages are to be unbundled on all platforms to create cheaper entry points and favour subscriber customisation.Canal+ is thus increasingly focused on supplying premium content, leaving the user interface to ISPs. Without the scale of other international content producers and in a nationalistic political context, we believe that this market rationale will eventually lead Vivendi to sell Canal+ to Orange.

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    August 12, 2016

    US and UK: Cord-cutting-shaving-nevering

    Cord-cutting has become a major headache for US pay-TV operators in the last three years, while cable network channels face further erosion due to cord-shaving and we now see a rapidly growing population of cord-nevering households that have never taken a pay-TV subscription. Should we expect it to be only a matter of time for the UK to follow the US? The short answer is no, due to major differences in the pay-TV market infrastructures of the two countries, which leave the UK much less exposed. However, downward pressures from the online space do exist in both countries, while the big cord-cutting-shaving-nevering threat we now see in the UK has most of all to do with the chill Brexit winds on the economy.